Bahamians at risk from Clico liquidation

(Nassau Guardian) NASSAU, The Bahamas – Bahamian professionals, religious leaders, businesses, churches and two government entities – Bahamasair and the Broad-casting Corporation Of The Bahamas – collectively have US$23 million in annuities tied up in CLICO Bahamas and it remains unclear how much, if any, of that money will be recovered as the company is in liquidation.

While employees of the Broadcasting Corporation have nearly US$800 000

 Hubert Ingraham
Hubert Ingraham

of pension money at stake in CLICO, employees of Bahamasair have tied up nearly US$3 million in annuities, a Nassau Guardian probe has revealed. Nearly 400 annuities are on CLICO’s books, The Guardian understands. The deposits reportedly range from under US$100 to several million dollars. Several local physicians are among those who have significant sums of money deposited in the troubled insurance firm, which was forced into liquidation nearly two weeks ago.

People who invested in annuities in the company are said to be deeply concerned about whether they will get a return on their investments, or get back the money they put in. Their deposits were made in a company that promised in its vision statement to provide “our customers with unique opportunities for protection, savings and investment”.

In a statement in the House of Assembly one week ago on the CLICO matter, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said it was too early to tell whether policyholders would lose any money as a result of the winding up order granted by the Supreme Court. “The discussions that will be held between the liquidator and the local insurers [prospective buyers] will include benefits for both policyholders and annuity depositors,” he said. However, later on when taking questions from Opposition members, Ingraham pointed out that annuity holders “are not likely to be as favourably rewarded at the end of the day as some other policyholders”.